Effects of Hillslope Thermokarst in Northern Alaska
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©2009. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 90, Issue 4, pages 29–30, 27 January 2009
How to Cite
2009), Effects of Hillslope Thermokarst in Northern Alaska, Eos Trans. AGU, 90(4), 29–30, doi:10.1029/2009EO040001., , , and (
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
Permafrost thawing is increasing in the Arctic and sub-Arctic [Osterkamp and Romanovsky, 1996; Osterkamp, 2007] in response to climate warming [Hassol, 2004]. One consequence of thawing permafrost is the development of thermokarst (physical depression of ground surface) because of reduced support of overlying soil [Jorgenson et al., 2006]. Thermokarst lakes, for example, result from changes to surface energy balance, which drive permafrost thaw locally, such that a topographic depression develops and captures water, forming a lake or pond. Climate warming of the past several decades is expected to increase the occurrence of thermokarst. For example, Agafonov et al.  have noted that the rate of expansion of a single thermokarst depression in western Siberia has increased in the latter half of the twentieth century, coincident with increasing air temperature and precipitation during the thaw season.